Organic Chemistry 9th Edition

Published by Brooks Cole
ISBN 10: 1305080483
ISBN 13: 978-1-30508-048-5

Chapter 1 - Structure and Bonding - Exercises - Page 27d: 35


In acetonitrile, $CH_{3}CN$, the $CH_{3}$ Carbon is $sp^{3}$ hybridized while the $CN$ Carbon is $sp$ hybridized

Work Step by Step

A carbon is $sp^{3}$ hybridised when it is bonded to 4 other atoms with single bonds. A carbon atom is $sp$ hybridised when it is bonded to two other atoms (either by 'two double bonds' or by 'one triple and one single bond') If we represent acetonitrile by $C^{(1)}H_{3}C^{(2)}N$ where $C^{(1)}$ and $C^{(2)}$ are carbon number one and two (for representation purpose only) The structural Representation of $CH_{3}CN$ will show that the $C^{(1)}$ carbon atom is bonded to 3 Hydrogen atoms and the $C^{(2)}$ carbon atom by single bonds. Thus it is $sp^{3}$ hybridized. The $C^{(2)}$ carbon atom is bonded to the $C^{(1)}$ carbon atom by a single bond and to the $N$ atom by a triple bond. Thus $C^{(2)}$ is $sp$ hybridized
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